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Even the most ingenious technologies won't go far without a solid legal foundation and a forward thinking framework that will help it scale,  and this episode's guest knows all about that. Cindy Hess is a corporate partner at Fenwick and for over 10 years she's served as the co-chair of the firm's startup and venture capital group. Over the course of her practice, Cindy has counseled technology companies on a broad range of corporate transactional matters. She's worked with a wide range of high tech clients including some of the hottest and most innovative companies in mobile SaaS and social media.Cindy has had numerous industry honors, including being named as one of the Recorder's Top 10 Most Trusted Corporate Counselors, and one of the Top Women Leaders in Tech Law. She was also named to the Legal 500's Hall of Fame of the Venture Capital and Emerging Companies category. Cindy was the recipient of the Women in Business Law Award for Best in Technology, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal named her as one of the leading women of influence in Silicon Valley. She's a member of the State Bar of California and of New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton, and her J.D. from Cornell.We sat down to talk about Cindy's incredible career working on some of the biggest deals in history, and what she sees for big tech deals in 2023 and beyond.Highlights: How Cindy got her start with Fenwick (3:24) What Fenwick does and why it's different than other firms (4:14) Cindy's client base (7:58) The part of the practice that Cindy thinks is strongest right now (9:17) How Cindy got into law (10:06) Cindy talks about some of the biggest deals at Fenwick (11:19) The deal that was most transformative for Cindy's career (13:21) Cindy talks about her experience as a woman in this field over the length of her career (14:36) Mentors that have helped along the way (15:27) Cindy's predictions for capital markets in 2023 (17:08) Cindy discusses the findings of the latest edition of Fenwick's Silicon Valley Venture Capital survey (19:20) Cindy's advice to founders going through the early stages of development, and what to consider when going public (23:05) What's next for emerging companies looking to grow their business (24:16) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteCindy Hess Bio FenwickCindy Hess LinkedInCindy Hess TwitterFenwick websiteFenwick LinkedInFenwick TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:If you're going to jump into the massive beverage market with a brand new product, you better have some incredible experience and a solid team behind you. And that's exactly what today's guest has. On this episode we're sitting down with Mike Pengue, who has been CEO of ZOA Energy since its launch in March of 2021. Prior to ZOA, Mike was Senior Vice President, General Manager for the Emerging Brands Group at Keurig, Dr. Pepper. He came to Keurig, Dr. Pepper from Bai Brands where he was Chief Strategy Officer, and was instrumental in the 1.65 billion sale to Dr. Pepper Snapple. Mike also spent 20 years at Nestle Waters North America in a variety of positions. His last role there was Executive Vice President, leading the $5 billion brand portfolio that included Perrier Pellegrino, Nestle's Pure Life, Poland Spring, Ozarka, and Deer Park, among others.Mike joined me to share the story of ZOA Energy and the amazing founders he's working with. We also discuss why this new drink is standing out and growing at breakneck speed.Highlights: Mike describes the ZOA Energy drink product, who the founders are and their collective strengths (3:04) Mike's initial thoughts about joining the company (5:58) The brand and what it stands for (7:46) The market size and where ZOA fits (9:18) ZOA's total addressable market (11:57) Mike talks about the company's remarkably fast growth (13:36) How the ZOA team have approached marketing spend (15:38) Mike talks new flavors and their approach to product size (17:12) The challenges that the team is looking at now (21:24) Mike discusses their international growth (23:32) Managing inflation, supply chain and other economic challenges (24:54) The mentors that Mike has had along the way (26:13) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteMichael Pengue LinkedInMichael Pengue bio - Beverage ForumZOA Energy LinkedInZOA Energy websiteZOA Energy TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:To really serve your customer, you have to understand them. And that's just one of the crucial ways that today's guest has led her company into remarkable growth. On this episode, we welcome Molly Langenstein, CEO, President and Board Member of Chico's FAS. She joined the company in August of 2019 and became CEO and President less than a year later, in June 2020. Molly is a 30-year retail industry veteran with a proven track record of building multiple successful brands, and revitalizing sales and profitability in the retail fashion industry. Prior to Chico's, Molly held multiple roles at Macy's, including General Business Manager for Ready to Wear, Private Brands Officer of Macy's in Bloomingdale's, and Executive Vice President of private brands for Men's and Children's wear. I sat down with Molly to talk about the unique strategy at Chico's and her amazing career in the retail industry, that in some ways, started when she was just a kid.Highlights: Molly tells about what she learned growing up in her mother's boutique (2:58) What has changed and what's stayed the same with consumers (4:27) Molly explains the main brands at Chico's (5:34) What attracted Molly to this opportunity at Chico's (8:36) The strategic pillars of their plan (9:56) The connection that is made with a customer through these brands (14:34) How an increasingly younger customer base and the multi-channel approach is significant to the company's growth (16:17) The company's digital tools for their customers, and their loyalty program (18:44) Chico's balance sheet (21:46) How Chico's is managing the economic challenges of the moment (22:53) Molly talks about the company's response to Hurricane Ian in Florida (24:17) Molly's signature piece of management advice (25:58) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteMolly Langenstein LinkedInMolly Langenstein BioChico's TwitterChico's FAS WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Extreme weather, aging grids, power storage and distribution; these are just some of the challenges that clean energy is stepping up to solve. And companies like Stem are at the forefront, with cutting edge AI-driven services. Today we hear from John Carrington, CEO of Stem. John leads the energy storage and analytics movement at the company and has more than 25 years of leadership experience in technology, energy, and industrial companies.John came to Stem from MiaSolé, the world's largest CIGS-based thin film solar company, where he was CEO and Director. Prior to that, John was the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at First Solar, growing the company from 250 million to more than 2 billion dollars in open markets in the US, Asia, and Europe. John also spent over 16 years at General Electric, most recently as the General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer of GE Plastics. He was part of a small executive team that executed on the 12 billion dollar sale of GE Plastics to SABIC in 2007.I sat down with John to talk about his interesting career trajectory and the huge runway he has in front of him with Stem. Highlights: John discusses how he got his start in the energy field (2:51) How John ended up at Stem, and what the company does (4:39) How Stem fits into the larger energy transition (7:28) John talks about the ground-breaking software that Stem has built and the real-life use cases (8:39) Stem's total addressable market (11:44) How the Inflation Reduction Act is benefiting energy storage (13:16) The ease of "going solar" today (14:40) Stem's partnership with In Charge, an EV charging infrastructure solution(16:17) John talks about Stem's truly innovative approach (18:07) The benefits of being a public company for Stem (18:58) How John is positioning Stem in this challenging economic time (19:29) The key drivers for margin expansion in the next few years (20:49) The backlog for 2022 vs. 2021 (22:01) John talks about his great team (24:08) Stem's approach to capital allocation (25:20) John's outlook for energy storage in the next three to five years (26:31) John's most important mentors (27:49) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJohn Carrington LinkedInJohn Carrington, Stem Inc bioStem LinkedInStem websiteStem TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:It's been an amazing year on Welcome to the Arena, and we've heard from some of the most exciting and successful businesses and strategists in the game. On this brief episode of the show, Tom Ryan, founder and CEO of ICR, and host of Welcome to the Arena shares his reflections on 2022, and looks ahead to 2023 and the 25th anniversary of ICR. Enjoy the holidays, and look for new episodes and more incredible guests coming in January!Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteTom Ryan ICRTom Ryan LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Being a disruptor in business can be as uncomplicated as putting out high quality products, in a small-but-mighty category. And that's what today's guest has done, with incredible success. On this episode we're talking to Todd Lachman, the founder, President and CEO of Sovos Brands.For 25 years, Todd's delivered growth and value creation for some of the biggest names in consumer packaged goods. He served as Global President of Mars Pet Care, President of Mars Chocolate, North America and Latin America, and Executive Vice President of Del Monte Foods Company. He also held senior management roles at H.J. Heinz Company after moving up the marketing ranks at Proctor and Gamble. Outside of his extensive professional experience, Todd's an active board member with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the Bay Area, and he's a super active guy who's into skiing, cycling and hiking with his family and two dogs.I managed to tear him away from his busy life for a conversation about how he built Sovos Brands into the huge success it is today, and what made him start the company in the first place. Highlights: Todd talks about starting Sovos and how he arrived at the idea (2:57) How each of the Sovos brands fit together (5:15) Why Sovos went public when they did (7:10) All about Rao's Sauce and why it's so successful (8:04) Becoming a billion dollar brand (11:03) Todd discusses their approach to international sales (13:13) Pricing premium products during a tricky economic and political time (14:25) Todd discusses efficiencies when it comes to P and L (16:00) The Sovos approach to innovation and new brands (18:24) The horizontal culture at Sovos (20:46) The achievements at Sovos this year (22:02) Todd's approach to M and A (23:40) The advantages of being a CEO who is from the marketing side (24:40) What Todd is most proud of with Sovos (26:49) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteTodd Lachman LinkedInTodd Lachman bioSovos Brands LinkedInSovos Brands websiteSovos Brands TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:There are a lot of things that California produces well: movies, wine, and now cannabis. Today's guest knows all about that. Kyle Kazan is co-founder and CEO of Glasshouse Brands, a vertically integrated sustainable producer of cannabis products. In 1991, he began investing in real estate, and became a manager of private equity funds. He's now launched a total of 23 funds with a current estimated value of almost $3 billion. In 2016 Kyle pivoted to the regulated cannabis industry. Since his early service as a special education teacher and law enforcement officer, Kyle's been a vocal advocate for police reform and ending the war on drugs.He makes frequent appearances on CNN and Fox and has been a guest professor at NYU, USC, and UCLA's business schools. Kyle's a graduate of University of Southern California where he played varsity basketball, and his long and varied career made for a great conversation.Highlights: Kyle talks about his early years as a basketball player, then a police officer turned real estate investor (2:57) What led Kyle to move into cannabis (5:38) The assets that Glass House has today (8:58) Glass House's vertical integration (10:49) Kyle discusses the brands of Glass House (13:37) How growing the product in California figures into Glass House's marketing (15:41) The challenges in this industry and the state of the market now (18:31) How the current political climate might affect Glass House (20:05) The total addressable market for Glass House (22:06) Kyle talks about his great team at Glass House (24:20) Their unique approach to investors (27:01) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteKyle Kazan BioKyle Kazan LinkedInKyle Kazan TwitterGlass House websiteGlass House LinkedInGlass House TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:At a time when many restaurants are cutting back on what they offer guests, the One Group is raising the bar on the dining experience, and positioning themselves for huge success in the process.Today's guest is Manny Hilario, CEO of The One Group and long-time friend of ICR. The One Group is a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale and polished casual, high energy restaurants and lounges. Their two primary restaurant brands are STK and Kona Grill, where they aspire to be the global leader in vibe dining, a unique combination of casual, upscale lounge and restaurant experiences. They trade under the symbol T K.Manny joined The One Group as a board member in April 2017, and in October 2017 he became President and CEO. Prior to that he was CFO of Sizzling Platter, and was COO at Einstein Noah Restaurant. Manny began his career at McDonalds where he held various financial roles with the company. On this episode, Manny and I talked about the One Group's bold approach to hospitality, their growth strategy, and of course their unique vibe dining concept that is setting them apart from the competition.Highlights: What the vibe dining concept offers (2:57) Manny describes the STK and Kona Grill brands (4:16) New restaurant locations and how they're doing (6:00) The prospects for ROI on the expansion of the restaurants (7:57) The total addressable market for the restaurant brand (10:10) Manny discusses how their franchises work (12:41) The One Group's optimism heading into the holidays (14:33) Technology's role in the restaurant business (16:32) Manny talks about the deal with Reef Kitchens and the ghost kitchen opportunity (18:59) The One Group's philosophy on capital allocation (20:15) What Manny has learned from his various roles in the industry (22:09) Recent trends in the industry that have surprised Manny (24:00) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteThe ONE Group WebsiteThe ONE Group LinkedInManny Hilario LinkedInManny Hilario, The ONE GroupFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:You can never underestimate the power of high quality consumer research from a globally renowned team, especially when they're led with energy and heart by a top industry analyst.Case in point is today's guest, long-time friend of ICR, Dana Telsey. Dana is the CEO and Chief Research Officer of Telsey Advisory Group, which was founded in 2006. The firm has grown to be a leading equity research trade execution, investment banking and consulting firm focused on the consumer space.During her 35-year career, Dana has followed over a hundred companies. From 1994 to 2006, she was Senior Managing Director covering the retail sector at Bear Stearns. Prior to that, she was a retail analyst at CJ Lawrence and was a V.P. of the Baron Asset Fund at Baron Capital. In 2015, she also formed Telsey Consumer Fund Management, an asset management firm investing in consumer oriented companies.Dana's received countless awards and accolades during her career. This year, Dana was named for the third time as one of Barron's Hundred Most Influential Women in US Finance, and she was named for a second time as one of Rethink Retail's Top 100 Retail Influencers. And maybe most impressive is that she was a member of Institutional Investor Magazine's All America Research Team for 13 years, from 1992 to 2005.Dana is a regular on CNN and CNBC, she's a fountain of energy and knowledge, and on today's episode we had a great conversation about her career, the fascinating story of retail, and what's to come. Highlights: Dana talks about getting her start in the business (3:16) When and why she started the Telsey Advisory Group (TAG) (5:32) The industries and segments that TAG covers (8:08) The brands that Dana gets excited about (9:25) How equity research has changed in the last 20 years (10:25) Why differentiation matters for brands (11:50) Dana talks about being one of the few women-owned firms on Wall Street (13:14) Dana reflects on the uncertainty of the past 3 years (15:25) Which consumer areas are currently holding up well (16:32) Dana's observations on technology investment (18:11) What Dana sees happening with the IPO market, and what investors are looking for (19:44) Capital allocation and new channels like the metaverse (21:31) The holiday season and forecasting into 2023 (23:21) What TAG is investing in (26:27) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteDana Telsey BioDana Telsey TwitterDana Telsey LinkedInTelsey Group WebsiteTelsey Advisory Group LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:We take for granted how rapidly restaurants have gone digital in the past few years, but it's actually been a vision 20 years in the making. And it all started with today's guest.Noah Glass is the founder and CEO of Olo, a leading commerce platform powering the restaurant industry's digital transformation. Over 600 of the most recognized restaurants and C-Store brands use Olo to grow digital sales, preserve direct consumer relationships, and maximize profitability. More than 85 million consumers run their orders through the platform annually.After attending Yale and spending some time abroad, Noah founded Olo at the age of 24. He established the company before the rise of the smart phone, starting out with a focus on text message ordering. Noah is now recognized as among the most influential leaders in the restaurant industry, and was named number one on 2020's Nation's Restaurant News Power List.Noah and I talked about Olo's inspirational origin story, the incredible impact the company has had on the restaurant industry, and the huge opportunities in this space going forward.Highlights: An introduction to Olo (3:23) Noah tells Olo's origin story (4:01) From protype to actually commercializing the product - getting restaurants on board in the early days (8:27) Noah takes us through Olo's products (10:51) The challenges of digital transformation in the restaurant industry (14:39) Noah talks about the total addressable market and how far into digital transformation we really are (16:38) The status of the restaurant industry, and the mindset around tech adoption (18:14) Olo's approach to R and D (21:06) Noah discusses Olo's financial position and philosophy on acquisitions (22:59) The culture at Olo (25:23) What investors might not understand about Olo (27:32) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteNoah Glass BioNoah Glass LinkedInOlo WebsiteOlo LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:It's always a pleasure to speak to a grizzled veteran who has decades of experience leading hundreds of deals that have raised billions of dollars.Here to share that wisdom is Gregg Nabhan, Chairman of the America's Equity Capital Markets, as well as Managing Director of the Consumer and Retail team at Bank of America. Gregg is responsible for the origination, IPO valuation, structuring, book-building, price discovery allocation trading, and aftermarket performance of equity transactions. Gregg has almost 40 years of experience on Wall Street. He's led over 400 deals, raising over 265 billion for companies around the world, including 115 IPOs totaling 50 billion dollars. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2008, Gregg worked at Morgan Stanley for 13 years where he was a Managing Director in the equity capital markets. He has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University. Gregg and I talked about the past 4 decades of economic twists and turns, some of his career highlights and what he sees coming around the bend.Highlights: Gregg talks about his start at Bank of America (2:45) The IPO resources that B of A offers (4:35) Gregg's perspective on the last 3 years of market activity (5:20) The Fed's inflation strategy (8:43) The number of IPOs now, compared with the past 15 years (10:08) Industries that are favoured to open the IPO market (11:20) Gregg discusses the valuation reset (12:46) What strong performing companies have in common (14:45) What the Fed needs to see to change their stance on interest rates (16:15) Gregg's take on the state of the consumer (18:58) Gregg tells us about some of his favourite deals over the years (19:44) The biggest challenges for management teams going through an IPO (20:55) Gregg's take on ESG (23:15) Will IPO Road Shows remain virtual, post-COVID? (24:38) Gregg talks about the huge value of his mentors over the years (25:46) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteGregg Nabhan LinkedInBank of America TwitterBank of America WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, marion@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Sometimes, acquisitions that seem risky are actually just really smart: seeing opportunity where others don't. And in real estate, if you have the experience and a strong handle on research, undervalued assets are there for the taking.My guest this week is Nitin Chexal. Nitin is the CEO of Palladius Capital Management where he oversees all aspects of the firm, including leading a team of investment and asset management professionals focused on real estate equity and debt investments across the US. Previously, Nitin was a partner and Managing Director at Nimes Real Estate, and before that he was VP of Corporate and Business Development at Counsyl.  Nitin got his Bachelor's degree at UCLA, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.Nitin and I talked about how Palladius'  bold approach to acquisitions helped establish the company. We also talked about how real estate trends will drive their business over the next few years. Highlights: Nitin explains Palladius' approach, interests, and how they scaled so rapidly (2:38) How Palladius' starting point was different than other firms (5:38) What being "tactically contrarian" means and how it gives Palladius an edge (7:09) Palladius' tactically contrarian approach to Austin, Houston and Chicago (7:46) Nitin explains Palladius' focus on shallow bay assets (14:31) The "hotel-ification" of multi-family rentals (17:52) How technology is being incorporated into Palladius' portfolio and operations (19:40) Nitin discusses Palladius' debt platform (21:36) Palladius' approach to democratizing real estate (23:33) Nitin talks about starting Palladius during COVID, and what he sees for the company's future (24:35) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteNitin Chexal BioNitin Chexal LinkedInPalladius Capital Management WebsitePalladius Capital Management LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
SummaryA growing number of food companies are investing in sustainable product development, but only a handful are really getting it right. Joining me to talk about doing sustainability successfully is Joe Ennen. Joe is CEO and a director at SunOpta, which trades under the symbol S T K L. The company sources, processes, and produces organic, natural, and non-GMO plant and fruit-based food and beverage products. SunOpta sells to retail customers, food service distributors, branded food companies, and food manufacturers. They have 14 processing facilities, mainly in North America. Joe has over three decades of experience as a food industry leader. Prior to his current role, he was Group Vice President of Innovation at PepsiCo, and served as CEO at Columbus Foods, and CEO of Columbus Manufacturing. Joe has an undergraduate degree in Finance and Marketing from University of Minnesota, and an MBA from University of Michigan.We talked about Sun Opta's investments in capacity, innovation, and the five factors that have fuelled the huge growth of plant-based milk products.Highlights: Joe explains SunOpta as a business (2:57) The changes at SunOpta since Joe's arrival (4:21) SunOpta's five strategic imperatives (5:50) The company's ESG focus (8:45) Joe discusses what he sees for this market in the next few years (10:20) How SunOpta assures customer retention (13:06) Managing a diverse customer base (15:22) Joe talks about their impressive 2nd quarter results (16:31) Navigating through difficult times (18:11) How SunOpta moves with the consumer (19:40) What investors might not understand about Sun Opta (20:52) SunOpta's capacity-building achievements (22:45) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJoe Ennen LinkedInJoe Ennen SunOptaSunOpta LinkedInSunOpta WebsiteSunOpta TwitterFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
SummaryIn an industry that's seen incredible growth in the last few years, lots of Saas companies are exploding. But Saas software vendor AvePoint was on the scene long before the industry took off, and their strategic vision of the cloud's potential has helped secure their own extraordinary long-term growth.Back in March we chatted with AvePoint's Chief Brand Officer, Dux Raymond Sy about building brands, so I'm excited to learn more about this growing company with today's guest, AvePoint's CEO, Dr. TJ Jiang.TJ co-founded AvePoint in 2001, and he's served as CEO since 2005. He holds a Master's degeree in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a PhD in data mining from NYU and in 2010, TJ was the recipient of Ernst and Young's, Entrepreneur of the Year Award.Ave Point is the Saas backbone of data management and the hybrid workforce. Their full suite of Saas solutions enable organizations worldwide to collaborate with confidence in the cloud. More than 9 million cloud users rely on AvePoint solutions for securing data, sustaining connections and ensuring business continuity.TJ and I spoke about the early, lean years of the business, AvePoint's careful choices along the way, and the evolutionary factors that have made AvePoint one of the biggest players in the Saas industry.Highlights: TJ's enterpreneurship story: how AvePoint began (3:15) What AvePoint does and who their clients are (5:58) How the pandemic influenced their business (7:38) TJ explains the benefits and necessity of Saas technologies (10:15) The size of the market and why this is just the beginning of digital transformation (13:34) TJ talks about AvePoint's go-to-market strategy (15:01) Why AvePoint is enjoying great growth when other companies are struggling (16:58) The story on some of AvePoint's latest acquisitions (19:01) TJ discusses their philosophy on capital allocation (23:03) Some of the factors that have led to AvePoint's strong balance sheet (24:50) The things that investors might miss about AvePoint (26:32) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteTJ Jiang LinkedInTJ Jiang TwitterAvePoint WebsiteAvePoint TwitterAvePoint LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Private markets investment is a giant field, and finding a unique place in the business isn’t easy. But when you pay close attention to timing, the needs and wants of your clients, and building a solid team, you can make a definitive mark in the industry. Joining me to talk about how that's done is Scott Hart, CEO of StepStone Group, a private markets investment firm. Since its founding in 2006, StepStone’s seen steady growth, and that’s been fueled by their customized investment solutions and advisory and data services. With 23 offices around the world and $137 billion of assets under management, they just keep growing.Scott joined StepStone in 2007, and he’s held a number of responsibilities across the organization, managing important client relationships, serving as co-head of private equity co-investments, and eventually becoming co-CEO in 2019, and CEO in January 2022. Scott is also a member of the global executive committee, private equity executive committee, private equity investment committee, and private equity portfolio and risk management committees.We talked about the factors around StepStone’s huge growth since Scott started in 2007, and the flywheel effect that’s helped get it there. We also took a dive into how diversification helped them carve out a niche built around custom products for a global client base.Highlights: Scott tells us about StepStone's mission and how they carry it out (03:16) Some of the important trends StepStone reacted to when they began 15 years ago (05:51) Scott outlines StepStone's strong position within the GP and LP ecosystem (08:04) StepStone's diversification strategies, global approach, and visibility (10:26) What they have offered retail investors versus industrial investors (13:40) Scott discusses StepStone's acquisition of Greenspring Associates (15:02) StepStone's company culture and how they attracted the right people (16:39) The keys to international expansion and managing a global firm (19:31) The resiliency of the private markets after a decade-long bull run (21:57) Scott shares projections for StepStone's long-term organic growth (24:53) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteScott Hart LinkedInScott Hart BioStepStone WebsiteStepStone LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:In an ever-changing market, consistent communication and messaging is essential to building up stakeholder trust. Corporate access is key when it comes to developing relationships between companies and investors, but access strategy can be difficult to navigate without the right experience. Joining me on this episode of ICR Industry Reports is Meaghan Montegari, Managing Director and Head of Global Investor Access. Meaghan recently joined ICR with over a decade of experience in all facets of corporate access and institutional equity sales. While on the sell side with companies like BofA Merril, Scotia Capital and Wells Fargo, she worked closely with corporates to identify potential shareholders, execute road shows, assist in mergers, spins, and acquisitions, and coordinate major conferences.In this episode, Meaghan and I discuss today's corporate access landscape, the importance of clear and consistent marketing, and why access to data combined with a human touch is such a difference maker.Highlights: What are investor access and corporate access? (02:46) Meaghan talks about the implementation of MiFID II and subsequent conflicts of interest (03:47) Meaghan discusses ICR's holistic view of the market (07:11) How has the shift towards in-house corporate access changed the market landscape? (09:05) Meaghan explains why a human touch is necessary when interpreting data (11:40) Why is it critical to consistently meet with or refresh your shareholder base? (13:30) How often should companies meet with investors? (16:45) Meaghan breaks down why ICR's corporate access services are designed to partner with the sell side (19:07) How is Meaghan using ICR's data to create a powerful new targeting platform? (20:29) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteMeaghan Montegari LinkedInMeaghan Montegari BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:In today's knowledge-based economy, your intellectual property is your competitive advantage and it needs to be protected. My guest this week is John Mancini, partner at Mayer Brown and a member of the firm's global intellectual property practice, which was named IP practice group of the year in 2017 and 2020 by Law360. John's practice focuses on litigating copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent disputes across the country, and he has successfully tried high-profile intellectual property cases as lead council, representing both public and private companies in a wide range of industries. His clients include tech giants like Google, YouTube, Spotify and many others and his contributions to the field have been recognized with many awards and honors including his 2020 induction into The Legal 500 Hall of Fame for trade secret litigation. John and I spoke about IP-related vulnerabilities companies should be aware of, new intellectual property challenges facing businesses in the social media age, and why getting your IP assets figured out should be an early priority for any company.Highlights: John walks us through his path to intellectual property litigation (03:03) John outlines Mayer Brown's practice and history (04:35) Why pre-IPO companies should prioritize protecting their IP rights (06:06) How companies can enforce their IP assets as barriers to entry (09:12) IP vulnerabilities pre-IPO companies should be aware of (11:00) How are social media influencers creating new vulnerabilities for companies they work with? (17:50) John shares some significant cases he's been involved with (19:15) John explains how to approach protecting IP rights on a global scale (20:51) Who does John consider an ideal client? (26:48) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJohn Mancini LinkedInJohn Mancini BioMayer Brown LinkedInMayer Brown WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Given the legal complexity of just about every aspect of running a company, lawyers are nearly ubiquitous in the corporate world. So, it should come as no surprise that a lifetime in corporate law amounts to an incredible wealth of knowledge and insight that can extend a lawyer's value far beyond just providing legal advice.My guest this week is Henry Nassau, CEO of global law firm, Dechert. First joining Dechert in 1987 and returning in 2003 after a stint as in-house general counsel (and briefly COO) at Internet Capital Group, Henry served as chair of Dechert's corporate and securities group for a combined 14 years, representing private equity sponsors, venture capital firms, public and private corporations, management teams, boards, and special committees regarding corporate and securities matters and advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, investments, securities offerings, proxy contests, corporate governance, and general corporate matters. CEO since July of 2016, Henry has played an instrumental role in expanding the Philadelphia-based firm's international platform across Europe, Asia, and the middle east. Today, Dechert has equal representation of lawyers inside and outside of the United States, making them a go-to choice for cross-border matters.Henry and I spoke about the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble as it compares to current market conditions, trends in economic globalization, and why the transition from private equity law to businessperson can be a relatively seamless one.Highlights: Henry outlines the history of Dechert, as well as his own history with the firm (03:29) Henry explains his decision to go in-house at ICG in the late 90s (08:42) Henry unpacks how lessons he learned from the burst of the Internet bubble inform his practice today (13:33) What sets Dechert apart from other firms? (16:53) Henry discusses trends he sees in globalization (18:39) How did COVID affect Dechert and what adaptations seem permanent? (20:38) Henry offers insight on recent market trends (23:53) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteHenry Nassau BioDechert WebsiteDechert LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary: My guest this week is co-founder and president of Zenger Folkman, a leadership development consultancy, Joe Folkman. For more than 30 years, Joe has been assessing and studying top leaders in a variety of industries and is a world-renowned psychometrician and leadership development expert. If you're not familiar with his unusual job title, a psychometrician creates psychological tests to measure employees' knowledge, skills, and abilities. Joe is also a prolific writer and has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Business Insider. His research has also been featured in Business Week, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Finally, Joe is the best-selling author and co-author of nine books on leadership and feedback, including his latest work; The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust.Joe and I spoke about the foundational theory of this latest book, how the implementation of diversity and inclusion policies have a positive effect on trust, and why you actually can please everyone...and have to.Highlights: Joe talks about his use of data in making his assessments (03:29) Joe lays out the three pillars of The Trifecta of Trust (05:52) Joe discusses some top-level statistics of trust and links them to the corporate world (07:16) Joe outlines why consistency is important when building trust (10:27) Do you need to please everyone to be trusted? (12:04) How did the pandemic change which leaders were trusted? (13:52) Joe reveals that managers often have a preference for giving negative feedback (16:49) How do we regain lost trust and how do managers navigate what they don't know? (20:44) Joe talks about the interplay between trust and diversity and inclusion policies (23:50) Joe talks about intergenerational variations of trust (27:32) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJoe Folkman LinkedInZenger Folkman LinkedInZenger Folkman WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:According to recent surveys, 43% of Americans expect to add to their debt in the next six months in order to make ends meet. Most will use credit card debt to bridge the gap, but high interest rates could see this put the financial futures of many Americans at risk. Innovative solutions to help manage that debt can make all the difference.Today's guest is Scott Sanborn, CEO of LendingClub, the only full-spectrum FinTech Marketplace Bank that has helped more than 4 million Americans save billions of dollars with no plan to slow down any time soon. A LendingClub veteran since 2010, Scott served first as the company's Chief Marketing Officer, then Chief Operating Officer before stepping into the CEO position in 2016. Scott was instrumental in steering the company through a prolonged period of triple-digit growth running up to its 2014 IPO, the largest tech IPO that year, and has long been a driving force in the organization.In this episode, Scott and I talk about the company's impressive and consistent growth, why their services are accessible to a wider range of customers than their competitors, and how their 2021 acquisition of a digital bank has transformed their business. Highlights: Scott traces LendingClub's path from its founding to its recent bank acquisition (03:17) Scott discusses what sets LendingClub apart from their competitors (06:13) Scott explains how the bank acquisition expanded LendingClub's TAM (09:15) How does LendingClub use technology to improve their customer service? (12:01) Scott unpacks LendingClub's positive flywheel, and what is driving their repeat business (14:41) Scott teases the products and services we can expect to see from LendingClub over the next few years (18:37) How will AI be a game changer down the road? (21:34) How is LendingClub positioned to help Americans deal with inflation and rising interest rates? (23:15) What do shareholders misunderstand about LendingClub? (27:31) Scott shares how his passion for surfing informs his work (29:28) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteScott Sanborn LinkedInScott Sanborn BioLendingClub LinkedInLendingClub WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
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